Breaking the Cycle: Healing from Complex Trauma (Best Self)

At the age of 39, I had a psychotic break.

Laurie B. Timms

March 6, 2023
Laurie Timms Breaking the Cycle

Read my new essay in Best Self. Here’s a snippet:

At the age of 39, I had a psychotic break.

It happened during a time when I was under a significant level of work and relationship-related stress. The tipping point came when I recovered a memory of being molested at the age of three.

The break itself was terrifying, because I couldn’t distinguish between hallucinations and reality; people I knew were suddenly different to me. I couldn’t figure out what was really happening versus the paranoia-driven creations in my brain.

As I slowly returned to reality, I had a fresh perspective on previous years of mental illness and treatments I had undertaken. I finally understood why, years after the molestation, I was taking dangerous risks — physical and emotional risks — that led to further traumatic episodes.

Read the full piece on


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